1. What is asbestos and how does it cause mesothelioma?
Asbestos is a heat- and fire-resistant insulating material that was widely used in construction, shipbuilding, and the automotive industry after 1945 and through the 1970s. Workers breathed in the tiny fibers that comprise asbestos. Those fibers entered their pleura, the lining of the chest cavity and lung, and damaged its cells. Mesothelioma develops over a long period of between 20 and 50 years. Research has also shown that family members and others living with workers exposed to asbestos are at an increased risk of developing mesothelioma.
2. Should everyone have an SMRP test to screen for mesothelioma?
The test is not intended for or useful as a general screening tool but only to help evaluate those who have already been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Since mesothelioma is a very rare cancer, most people will never need to have this test performed.
This article was last reviewed on October 21, 2016. | This article was last modified on October 21, 2016.
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